YPSILANTI, Mich., (Aug. 5, 2012) – Kalitta Motorsports’ David Grubnic took advantage of his weekend off from the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series this past weekend to compete in the annual Sandhills Open Road Challenge in Arnold, Neb. Saturday, where he took home third place honors for his class in his rookie attempt.
With the help of Optima Batteries, who serves as the primary partner on Grubnic’s normal weekend race car – the 8,000-horsepower, 300+mph Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster, and world famous auto customizers Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Grubnic and veteran navigator Scott LaPointe traversed the 28.7-mile (first leg out), 26.6-mile (second leg back) road course in the Nebraska countryside in a specially-engineered Lingenfelter Chevrolet Camaro.
Similar to NHRA bracket racing, competitors strive to complete the course in a specific time. Grubnic and Lapointe raced in the 91-mph class, which also serves as a qualifier for the 2012 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. The cars in this class had a maximum speed of 120 mph and a minimum speed of 70 mph. Grubnic finished the first leg with an average speed of 90.984 mph and the second leg at 90.754 mph, which was a total of 3.055 seconds and .127 mph slower than his target. He finished third in his class of 12 cars and 50th overall out of a field of 122. The top overall finisher was .007 seconds faster than his target speed and within .127 seconds of his target time.
“I had an absolute blast,” Native Australian Grubnic, a 50-year old resident of Bozeman, Mont., exclaimed. “I have to thank Cam Douglas, Jim McIlvaine and everyone at Optima Batteries, as well as Ken Lingenfelter and Mike Copeland, Operations Manager, from Lingenfelter Performance for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to race such a great race car.
“Obviously, there are constant calculations by the navigator to tell you when to accelerate and decelerate to try to hit the perfect time. It’s very challenging, but it’s also a lot of fun. I’m very happy with third in my first try. Hopefully, I will get to compete again next year. I think I can win it next year.”
Grubnic returns to the controls of his regular rail racer this weekend in Brainerd, Minn. for the 31st annual running of the NHRA Nationals.
About Kalitta Motorsports
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.
Jeff Arend drives the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car for Team Kalitta. Alexis DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car. David Grubnic drives the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster while Connie’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, pilots the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as head tuner for all Team Kalitta entries. He is assisted by co-crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Nick Boninfante on the DHL Funny Car, by Del Worsham on the Tequila Patrón Funny Car, and by Jim Oberhofer on the Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster. Connie serves as crew chief on the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster.
Associate sponsors on Kalitta Motorsports’ race cars include Candlewood Suites, ROCKY Boots, Red Line Oil, Technicoat Companies, OPTIMA Batteries, JEGS, and Mac Tools.
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